The main arguments used to take aim at the major problems in our current Washington directed public schools are the poor testing scores, teachers’ unions are more a political machine for insuring job retention over quality performance or students’ needs, ever increasing education spending for consistently lower performance, and finally, too many schools simply teach for the qualitative testing at the end of certain grades during each year. But, are there any better arguments that actually hold the high ground purporting excellence, flexibility, and a diversity of schools tailored closer to students’ abilities and specialized interests. The simple answer is there is and so much more, if only parents, students, and others who recognize the importance of education that is impossible in our current broken system that has simply thrown more money at the problem instead of acting responsibly and overhauling the entire system. The first obvious item is the same as the current main argument that education must be taken back from the Federal Government and return it to, in a more perfect world, the most local system feasible, be that the State, County, Cities, or best, totally turned over to private enterprise.
I want to discuss the advantages of eliminating all government controlling school systems beyond setting minimal requirements of core studies. Should we turn our schools over to private control, we would quickly find the actual cost per student for an education initially would probably be halved in most major markets and have significant lowered costs virtually everywhere else. And surprisingly enough, as more competition entered into the market, the prices would drop even further as these private enterprises would be competing for parents’ education dollars while also striving for the highest standards and reputations to attract more students. Somehow, once free of government efficiency, schools would be run with far fewer supervisory positions which now many are required simply to meet Federal Government near endless mandates and regulations. It becomes obvious there is a strangling problem of over-imposition of government resulting in so much of education budgets being used to simply cover Federal imperatives when there are Assistant Principals, Administrators, and their related staff who are solely dedicated to assurance of standards and compliance. All these people accomplish is to generate reports, complete required forms, assure proper licensing, and add numerous more employee members of the Teachers’ Unions.
If, instead the Federal government completely shut the doors at the Department of Education and every other agency, department, or other education related bureaucracy had their budget slashed or the entire place closed, then the education budgets of the States, Counties and other current schooling oversight could instead be used as vouchers or taxes previously utilized for education could be reduced or eliminated. These savings could provide three forms of stimulus on the economy by injecting more spending money through lower taxes, open an entire new market solely to provide quality educations, and reduce or eliminate deficit spending or at least assist in balancing governments at all levels. The sole reasons this is being prevented is because it removes the oversight and control over this entire sector of our economy from politicians and unions who believe they are the people with the ultimate ability to determine what is best for our children’s educations. I believe that parents, overall, are the best and most highly motivated people to judge, guide and choose the education of their children. What a concept that the people whose children are actually in the current school system might be more motivated to improve the educational opportunities for the largest majority of kids than unrepentant politicians who place their children in private academies knowing they have destroyed our public educational systems.
The last advantage that would be produced by turning to the private sector to provide our children’s educations would be the offering of specialized curriculums and programs to meet the differences of students’ aptitudes, preferences, special needs, and educational paths towards whatever profession or interest some may choose to pursue. This is by far the most important issue in the education debate. Currently, should a student be gifted in math, languages, artistic expressions, sports or whatever, they are still placed in the same mass educate to the lowest denominator public school system where their particular gifts could be squelched rather than pursued and encouraged to flourish under a school that is designed for these students’ unique abilities and gifts. We would be better served by a school system which has diversity in the available choices and options. We sure are not getting an adaptive and tailored education worth half the money we are forced to spend blindly, via governmental insistence outside of the individual student or parent to influence, choose, or be asked for approval or disapproval. My experience with public schools would clearly receive disapproval from this writer, but who would have guessed that?
Beyond the Cusp